Essex County Fire and Rescue Service


Man rescued after falling asleep while cooking

High Street, Rayleigh
28/04/2021 @ 13:23
Incident Number: 143375
In attendance: 1 x Rayleigh Weir, 1 x Hawkwell

Firefighters rescued a man whose flat had filled with smoke after he fell asleep while cooking.

Crews from Rayleigh Weir and Hawkwell were called to a first floor flat in High Street, Rayleigh today at 1.23pm after a neighbour heard a smoke alarm sounding.

Watch Manager Wayne Davey said: "The occupant had put a couple of pans on the cooker and fallen asleep, causing his flat to fill with smoke.

"Crews managed to rouse him and he let them in, but he was suffering from smoke inhalation.

"They gave him first aid, made sure the fire was fully extinguished and used a fan to clear the smoke.

"The incident highlights how dangerous it is to cook if you are tired - it's too easy to fall asleep and put your life at risk.

"Thankfully there was a working smoke alarm in the flat and, fortunately, a neighbour heard is sounding and called 999."

The man was left in the care of the Ambulance Service.

Cooking safety

More than half of accidental fires in the home are started by cooking - it can be incredibly dangerous if you don't take precautions:

  • Don't leave children in the kitchen alone when cooking on the hob 
  • Keep matches and saucepan handles out of their reach
  • Keep tea towels and cloths away from the cooker and hob
  • Double check the cooker is off when you’ve finished cooking
  • Take care if you need to leave the kitchen whilst cooking, take pans off the heat or turn them down to avoid risk
  • Don't cook if you are tired, taking medication that makes your drowsy or have been drinking alcohol

You can find more cooking safety advice here.

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Hawkwell's firefighters are on-call firefighters who all live or work within 5 minutes of an on-call fire station and are paid to protect their local community.

If you live or work within 5 minutes of an on-call fire station, you could be an on-call firefighter. Find out more about the role at

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